Panzanella Salad (Italian Tomato & Bread Salad)

4 Dec


So what to do when you have an abundance of beautiful heirloom tomatoes, a half loaf of what was really great bread yesterday & the want for a really great salad…One answer, Panzanella Salad or Italian Tomato & Bread Salad!! This is one of my all time favorite, rock star, better than better salads!!! A great lunch or light dinner and pairs perfectly with that glass or bottle of Pino Grigio in the fridge.
Next I have to thank my neighbor Judy who has the most amazing herb garden!! She let`s me come rape & pillage her garden regularly. Thanks so much Judy!!
Enough of me rambling, here`s what you`ll need:
Tomatoes- quartered if using small ones, chopped if bigger
Bread- good quality loaf, a little stale & hard is perfect or do as I did. Cubed, tossed with a little olive oil, garlic & chlie flakes and put into a 250 degree oven for about 20 minutes.
Bell Pepper- 1/2 inch pieces
Red Onion- sliced really thin
Cucumber-halved, seeded & sliced
Basil-chiffonade or thinly sliced
Vinegar- Balsamic or Red Wine
Olive Oil
Parmesan Cheese- shaved, fresh mozzarella would go beautifully as well
Cube or tear your bread in 1/2 inch pieces or so. This is a rustic salad no no need to be precise. If a bit stale and hard it`s perfect as is. If not, place in a 250 degree oven for 20-25 minutes. Cool completely before using.
 

Prep the veggies.

 

Next add the tomatoes to a bowl, season with salt & pepper. Let stand for a few minutes so the salt can draw out a little of the juice.

 

 

Add the rest of the veggies to the bowl.

 

 

In goes your bread, mix gently.

 

Mix 1 part vinegar with 3 parts olive oil, salt, pepper and some dried herbs if you like. I threw a little garlic in there too because well, I love garlic but definitely not mandatory.

 

 

Pour over the salad and gently mix again. Now here`s the tough part, you want to let this sit for awhile (30 minutes) so the bread can soak up some of that flavor. Don`t worry it won`t get soggy.

 

Just before serving slice or chiffonade the basil and mix in. Don`t cut the basil to early as it will start turning black quickly. Won`t affect the flavor but won`t be pretty either.

 

Plate and add some shaved parmesan.

Panzanella Salad (Italian Tomato & Bread Salad)

Panzanella Salad (Italian Tomato & Bread Salad)

Ingredients

  • Tomatoes- quartered if using small ones, chopped if bigger.
  • Bread- good quality dense loaf, a little stale & hard is perfect or do as I did. Cubed, tossed with a little olive oil, garlic & chlie flakes and put into a 250 degree oven for about 20 minutes.
  • Bell Pepper- 1/2 inch pieces
  • Red Onion- sliced really thin
  • Cucumber-halved, seeded & sliced
  • Basil-chiffonade or thinly sliced
  • Vinegar- Balsamic or Red Wine
  • Olive Oil
  • Parmesan Cheese- shaved, fresh mozzarella would go beautifully as well

Instructions

  1. Cube or tear your bread in 1/2 inch pieces or so. This is a rustic salad no no need to be precise. If a bit stale and hard it`s perfect as is. If not, place in a 250 degree oven for 20-25 minutes. Cool completely before using.
  2. Prep the veggies
  3. Next add the tomatoes to a bowl, season with salt & pepper. Let stand for a few minutes so the salt can draw out a little of the juice.
  4. Add the rest of the veggies to the bowl.
  5. In goes your bread, mix gently.
  6. Mix 1 part vinegar with 3 parts olive oil, salt, pepper and some dried herbs if you like.
  7. Pour over the salad and gently mix again. Now here`s the tough part, you want to let this sit for awhile (30 minutes) so the bread can soak up some of that flavor.
  8. Just before serving slice or chiffonade the basil and mix in.
  9. Plate and add some shaved parmesan.
  10. Enjoy!!
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